Resident expert, Martim Nabeiro, has been investigating the benefits of poker to general cognition. His findings show that the advantages of playing are backed up by science.
It’s strange to think how little we understand of the brain. We’re able to send cameras into the depths of space, but we’re still learning what’ll benefit the organ that defines us. It is becoming clear that games are essential. Poker has massive positive outcomes, from better sleep to curbing degenerative brain diseases.
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Poker’s ongoing popularity worldwide is partly due to the combination of skills required to play well. Each game needs you to strategise, concentrate, and keep track of numbers. And that doesn’t even cover controlling your emotions, reading body language, and quick decision making.
You’re doing more than just playing a game. You’re giving your brain the workout it needs.
An actual game of poker can take hours, depending on the number of players and their skill levels. Memory is vital to play a good game. Not only will you need to remember the cards, but you will also need to remember the body language the other players exhibit. As you play more, you’ll find your memory improves.
Without concentration, you’re never going to be a successful poker player. Poker demands that you concentrate on your hand and those of the other players for long periods. You also need to focus on all players’ body language and the dealer to pick up any cues. The game increases your concentration span and your ability to concentrate on several things.
Poker is a game enjoyed by many around the world. Playing emotionally, however, isn’t the path to success. Whether you are playing at a brick-and-mortar establishment or online, you need to be able to control your emotions. Without that control, you risk chasing losses. You need to recognise when you need a break. This skill is useful in many instances, away from the table.
‘Is poker a mind game’ might be the question you have. With emotional control comes the ability to strategise and play the mind game. This means taking all the information you have and using it to your advantage. To do this well, you need knowledge and confidence, balanced with emotional control.
If you are thinking about starting a small business, play poker first. In many instances, the skills to play poker well are useful for running your own company. By playing this game, you can develop confidence and decision-making abilities. You also improve your ability to cope with stress and learn to assess risk better. Poker comes with losses, as does any start-up. It’s vital to be able to manage disappointment without giving up.
If you’re asking ‘is poker good for the brain’, the simple answer is yes. There’s increasing evidence to suggest that poker can delay or even prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The game itself helps to preserve brain structures through stimulation and repetition. On top of that, the nature of the game is social. Interacting with others is beneficial in combating the effects of aging.
Many think that online poker lacks the social element a brick-and-mortar space offers. This is not true. The social aspect of the game is fundamental in both spaces. Interacting with the other players and the dealer isn’t only about the excitement of finding their tells. It’s also relaxing, communicating, and lowering your stress levels.
Over the years, we’ve all realised the importance of exercising the body. It’s as important to exercise the mind. The benefits of poker include skills you can use in everyday life.